The Sleep Curse

Synopsis: In 1990, Neurologist Lam Sik-ka and his former flame suffer from the generational sleep curse that rooted in their both families war engagement during World War Two. Lam Sik-ka tries to save her flame from the grudge that made by a soothsayer's single-eyed daughter who was victimized by their fathers during the time of Japanese occupation in Hong Kong.
Genre: Horror
Director(s): Herman Yau
  2 nominations.
102 min


- Happy birthday, hubby.

- Thank you.

Happy birthday, Daddy!

- Happy birthday, brother.

- Thank you.

Happy birthday, brother!

What is taking you so long, Teddy?

C'mon over, Teddy!

You have to be on camera, too.

Let's sing.

One, two, three.

"Happy birthday to you!"

"Happy birthday to you!"

"Happy birthday to daddy!"

"Happy birthday to you!"

Make a wish, brother.

Look this way, Daddy.

Why are you still up? It's 2 o'clock!

What's keeping you up?

I can't sleep, might as well get up to read.

Why don't you go to bed

if you feel tired, brother?


He's working too hard.

Why don't you take some time off, brother?

Stop that for now, Teddy! Eat first!

Be good, Teddy. Eat first.

Can't sleep again, Daddy?

I haven't been able to sleep

for many days already.

Let's play chess.


Leave Daddy alone.

I want to sleep! Let me sleep!

They say... it's a curse.

Come on, Teddy, go play outside.

I don't want to sleep! I don't want to sleep!

"1990 Hong Kong"

"The silvery moonlight...

is shining on the courtyard..."

"Be good, dad, go to sleep."

"The silvery moonlight...

is shining on the courtyard..."

"Be good, dad, go to sleep."

"Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong"

Morning, Professor Lam. You're early.

Yes! I miss that mouse.

It didn't sleep at all last night.

How many days now?

27 days in a row.

Inject half the dose of protein today.

OK, no problem.

Enjoy the honey heavy dew of slumber.

Can any of you tell me

who this saying is from?

Top students, eh?

You people know nothing about culture?

It's Shakespeare!

Can you tell us why...

even the great Shakespeare praises sleep, Draco?

Could it be because

people spend 1/3 of their lifetime asleep?

Is this why Shakespeare likes it?

Why doesn't he praise

the other 2

Anyone else?

In fact I've no idea myself

why sleep is worth praising.

I've seen many people who can't sleep or eat,

which reminds me of

what the old folks always say,

"It's a blessing to be able to eat and sleep."

They are right!

Research indicates that

sleeping is important to many parts of our body.

Namely, turning short-term memory into long-term,

as well as renewing the proteins

in our brain cells

during sleep.

But none of this research

has taken into account that

people's mode of sleep evolves by itself.

Let's look at animals in the wild.

Lions sleep 14 hours a day

while elephants sleep for only 4 hours.


Because predators

sleep more than prey.

Usually herbivores sleep less.

So that they can stay alert at all times,

and won't be too easy to catch.

Sleeping is enjoyable indeed.

Yet we're most vulnerable during asleep.

Just like the way Mr. Tin Chun Yuan is now.

One can kill him as easy as pie.

Don't bother, let him sleep.

The average life expectancy

of Hongkongers is 78 years.

We sleep for about 24 years of our lives.

It really wastes a lot of our time.

Sleep is still a mystery to us.

We know very little about

how we enter the state of sleep.

We know even less about why we need to sleep.

We do know there are 5 stages of sleep.

Stages 1 and 2 are "light sleep".

During these stages, when we close our eyes,

our blood pressure decreases,

heartbeats are slower.

We relax to enter stages 3 and 4,

which are "deep sleep".

I did research in Italy.

When we're in the deep sleep stages,

brain activity is reduced to a very low level.

Then we enter stage 5.

The REM stage-

Rapid Eye Movement.

We dream in this stage.

When you dream, your eyes move rapidly.

According to Freud,

"dreaming" helps to release

the desires of our subconscious.

Yet this is just psychoanalytic theory.

The medical community

still doesn't fully understand

how dreaming can affect the body.

As we see from the way Mr. Tin Chun Yuan is now,

if he's in a light sleep stage,

he should be able to hear me giving the lecture.

Are you demonstrating

the method of sleeping, Mr. Tin?

Or don't you care about finishing your degree?

The University Research Grants Committee

has carefully gone through your proposal,

and fully discussed it, Dr. Lam.

We're deeply sorry

for your application has not been approved.

Why not?

The University and the Faculty of Medicine

have always appreciated your...

OK, OK, I don't need that.

I only want to know why

such a valuable research was not approved.


the Committee finds your research unnatural.


Do you know what you're talking about?

Of the 5000 years of human civilization,

do you know how much time and how many resources

we humans have wasted on sleep?

Do you know oxygen is wasted

with every single breath as we sleep?

People spend about 1/3 of their lifetime asleep,

which means there is no pleasure,

no entertainment, no productivity,

no economic benefit.

If mankind needs no sleep,

civilization can fast forward

about a thousand years.

We will die without sleep!

How can we not sleep?

That's what my research is all about.

Dolphins remain active without sleep.

Migrating birds can fly

26 consecutive days without sleep.

I have already collected some data

for my research from white mice.

Humans aren't animals.

Why not?

I mean humans aren't birds or beasts.

Anyway, we find your research

goes against the laws of nature.

It's unethical!

How is it unethical?

Your education really hasn't helped you much.

It's no big deal to turn down my application!

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Eric Lee

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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